To Virgil, Written at the Request of the Mantuans for the Nineteenth Centenary of Virgil's Death

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Roman Virgil, thou that singest Ilion's lofty temples robed in fire,Ilion falling, Rome arising, wars, and filial faith, and Dido's pyre;

Landscape-lover, lord of language more than he that sang the "Works and Days,"All the chosen coin of fancy flashing out from many a golden phrase;

Thou that singest wheat and woodland, tilth and vineyard, hive and horse and herd;All the charm of all the Muses often flowering in a lonely word;

Poet of the happy Tityrus piping underneath his beechen bowers;Poet of the poet-satyr whom the laughing shepherd bound with flowers;

Chanter of the Pollio, glorying in the blissful years again to be,Summers of the snakeless meadow, unlaborious earth and oarless sea;

Thou that seëst Universal Nature moved by Universal Mind;Thou majestic in thy sadness at the doubtful doom of human kind;

Light among the vanish'd ages; star that gildest yet this phantom shore;Golden branch amid the shadows, kings and realms that pass to rise no more;

Now thy Forum roars no longer, fallen every purple Cæsar's dome--Tho' thine ocean-roll of rhythm sound forever of Imperial Rome--

Now the Rome of slaves hath perish'd, and the Rome of freemen holds her place,I, from out the Northern Island sunder'd once from all the human race,

I salute thee, Mantovano, I that loved thee since my day began,Wielder of the stateliest measure ever moulded by the lips of man.

© Alfred Tennyson